The Little Prince — original 1943 first edition, published by Reynal & Hitchcock in American English.

American English, often referred to simply as American, encompasses a variety of dialects of the English language spoken primarily in the United States. It originated from the dialects of English brought to the Americas by British colonisers and has since developed its own unique characteristics. This language is the most widely spoken language in the USA and is de facto language used by the federal and state governments, to the extent that all laws and compulsory education presume English as the primary language. US English is explicitly given official status by 32 of the 50 state governments.

The Little Prince — special edition by the Folio Society (London), but in US English

Historical Background

  • Colonial Foundations (17th Century): American English began with the British colonisation of North America in the early 17th century. Settlers from various regions of the British Isles brought their dialects, which began to merge and form new dialectal patterns in the American colonies.
  • Influence of Other Languages: Throughout its history, American English has been influenced by many languages, including Native American languages, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, and languages brought by enslaved Africans. Each wave of immigration has contributed vocabulary and sometimes grammatical features.
  • 19th Century and Expansion: As the United States expanded westward, the dialects spoken by settlers from different regions began to blend. The invention of the telegraph, the spread of railroads, and later the advent of radio and television began to standardise these dialects into what we recognize today as General American English.
  • 20th Century to Present: The 20th century saw American English become highly influential due to the United States’ political, economic, and cultural power. Mass media and technology have played a significant role in spreading American English both nationally and globally.

The Little Prince — in US English